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Chapter 10: Self Actualization: The Basic Need

Desire means you are not fulfilled within, you are missing something so you hanker after it. You go on, from one desire to another, in search of fulfillment. That search never ends because one desire creates another desire. Really, one desire creates ten desires. If you go in search of a desireless state of bliss through desires, you will never reach. But if you try something else - methods of self-actualization, methods of realizing your inner potentiality, of making them actual - then the more you will become actual the less and less desires will be felt, because really, they are felt only because you are empty inside. When you are not empty within, desiring ceases.

What to do about self-actualization? Two things have to be understood. One: self-actualization doesn’t mean that if you become a great painter or a great musician or a great poet you will be self-actualized. Of course, a part of you will be actualized, and even that gives much contentment. If you have a potentiality of being a good musician, and if you fulfill it and you become a musician, a part of you will be fulfilled - but not the total. The remaining humanity within you will remain unfulfilled. You will be lopsided. One part will have grown, and the remaining will have stayed just like a stone hanging around your neck.

Look at a poet. When he is in his poetic mood he looks like a buddha; he forgets himself completely. The ordinary man in the poetic mood is as if he is no more there. So when a poet is in his mood, he has a peak - a partial peak. And sometimes poets have glimpses which are only possible with enlightened, buddha-like minds. A poet can speak like a buddha. For example, Khalil Gibran speaks like a buddha but he is not a buddha. He is a poet - a great poet.

So if you see Khalil Gibran through his poetry, he looks like Buddha, Christ or Krishna. But if you go and meet the man Khalil Gibran, he is just ordinary. He talks about love so beautifully - even a buddha may not talk so beautifully. But a buddha knows love with his total being. Khalil Gibran knows love in his poetic flight. When he is on his poetic flight, he has glimpses of love - beautiful glimpses. He expresses them with rare insight. But if you go and see the real Khalil Gibran, the man, you will feel a disparity. The poet and the man are far apart. The poet seems to be something which happens to this man sometimes, but this man is not the poet.

That is why poets feel that when they are creating poetry someone else is creating; they are not creating. They feel as if they have become instruments of some other energy, some other force. They are no more. This feeling comes because, really, their totality is not actualized - only a part of it is, a fragment.

You have not touched the sky. Only one of your fingers has touched the sky, and you remain rooted on the earth. Sometimes you jump, and for a moment you are not on the earth; you have deceived gravity. But the next moment you are on the earth again. When a poet is feeling fulfilled, he will have glimpses - partial glimpses. When a musician is feeling fulfilled, he will have partial glimpses.

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